America's fastest growing cities 2015
The construction industry has taken a bit of a battering over the last few years, with global financial troubles leading to job losses, slowing rates of construction and abandoned projects.
However, the construction industry has been looking up for a couple of years now, with strong signs of growth around the nation.
Research from GDM suggests that the construction market in 2015 will grow by 9.8% from 2014, which is good news for everyone from construction workers to home buyers.
So which areas are expecting new or continued construction growth, and how does that benefit the construction industry and house hunters nationwide?
Construction is Booming in These Cities
Many cities around the country have enjoyed a construction boom as of late, with growth expected to continue through 2015.
Atlanta, Georgia, has seen a boom of late, with no signs of slowing down in the coming year.
Construction has helped to regenerate the downtown area, giving it a new lease of life. With continued development expected in 2015 and plenty of exciting new restaurants, construction growth is going strong in Atlanta.
Phoenix, Arizona, made Forbes' list of America's fastest growing cities for 2014, with growth expected to continue through 2015.
Construction industry jobs in Phoenix have been growing year on year, as the population continues to boom. Considering that construction in Phoenix was hit hard by the downturn, it is good news for this city.
Houston, Texas has seen an increase in construction in the last couple of years, with more new home starts in 2013 than the entire state of California.
That impressive rate shows no signs of slowing down in 2015 and beyond, with a projected increase in construction of 13% for 2015 and 2016. The housing boom in Houston is accompanied by an influx of new professionals as the local economy experiences a boom.
Construction Boom is Good News for House Hunters
A construction boom is often good news for house hunters. Greater choice makes it much easier to find a home in a desired location that fits in with the budget.
As the article "A Monthly Budget for a New American Dream" points out, affordability is still relatively high in the housing market nationwide.
It's not uncommon for rent prices to stay stable or even relatively low during an expansion phase, and rapidly-growing cities often offer affordable housing options for both renters and buyers.
Whatever their budget or taste, increased construction means increasing choices for home hunters.
Things are Looking up for the Construction Industry
The current boom in construction is great news for the construction industry.
Construction workers in growth areas, or those willing to relocate, can benefit from increasing numbers of available jobs. This has a knock on effect, as increasing construction means a growing need not just for industry workers, but for materials, which is good news for suppliers and haulage companies everywhere.
A boom in construction means more work and more reliable income for those in the industry, and better security for their families, benefiting people across the board.
As construction booms and the industry strengthens, so too do the cities where construction is growing benefit from new amenities, more jobs and an influx of new professionals and talents.
Construction is looking good for 2015, building jobs and economies alongside homes and businesses.
Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, the construction industry and the economy.
International Code Council focuses on energy efficiency
The International Code Council has released a new framework to assist governments and building industry stakeholders in meeting energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals.
The Code Council Board of Directors, which consists of 18 government code officials who were elected by their peers, adopted the framework, Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency: A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing Climate.
This framework includes using the Code Council’s American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved standards process to update the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
Future editions of the IECC will build on prior successes including an increase of efficiency requirements by about 40%, or an average of 8% a cycle from 2006 to 2021, allowing the IECC to remain a strong avenue for communities to reach their energy efficiency and sustainability goals globally.
With the base 2021 IECC efficiency requirements just 10% away from net zero for residential buildings, under the new framework future editions of the IECC will increase base efficiency using a balancing test proposed in bipartisan legislation that has cleared the US House and Senate and has been supported by energy efficiency advocates and the building industry.
The IECC will be developed under a revised scope and be part of a portfolio of greenhouse gas reduction solutions that could address electric vehicles, electrification and decarbonization, integration of renewable energy and energy storage, existing buildings performance standards and more.
The Code Council’s new framework will also provide optional requirements aimed at achieving net zero energy buildings presently and by 2030. Using a tiered approach, the framework offers adopting jurisdictions a menu of options, from a set of minimum requirements to pathways to net zero energy and additional greenhouse gas reduction policies.
The Code Council has also announced the establishment of an Energy and Carbon Advisory Council which will consist of governmental and industry leaders to inform the Code Council’s efforts.
The Energy and Carbon Advisory Council will advise on which additional greenhouse gas reduction policies the IECC should integrate, the pace that the IECC’s baseline efficiency requirements should advance, plus needs and gaps that the Code Council should work to address. The Code Council will begin outreach to fill the Energy and Carbon Advisory Council in March.
Focus on climate and energy efficiency globally
The Use of Climate Data and Assessment of Extreme Weather Event Risks in Building Codes Around the World was published last month.
Climate data is frequently only updated on a 10-year cycle on average, so as weather becomes more severe from year to year, the underlying data simply does not accurately reflect the risk to the building of these extreme weather-related events. International Codes are updated on a three-year cycle.
Climate change, coupled with net zero emission targets, is focusing minds to act faster.
From the end of this year, all new buildings in Singapore will face higher minimum energy performance requirements, according to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). It will raise the minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings and existing buildings that undergo major retrofit, to be 50% and 40% more energy efficient respectively, compared with 2005 levels. The city state aims to 'green' 80% of buildings by 2030.
The Net Zero Home standard developed by CCG (Scotland) is intended to deliver a standard of specification that reduces greenhouse gas emissions arising from regulated operational energy use to a rate less than or equal to 0kg C02/m2/year.
A new construction products national regulator is imminent in the UK, in a bid to bolster standards following the Grenfell inquiry.